Smart Food Swaps

These simple dieting short cuts make the scales creep down and no willpower required. To save calories with smart swaps, simply replace a food you normally eat with a similar food that is lower in calories. This is a “painless” way to save calories!



  • Change high sugar drinks to diet/low sugar or water! Water is the best drink instead of sugary or artificial sweetened. Cutting back on 3 large glasses of cola a day and switching to diet or water, will save you about 500 kcal a day. This will make a difference over the week to your waist line as long as you aren’t having extra treat foods because you think you can.
  • Change butter to low fat spreads
  • Change full fat cheese to reduced fat – Use mature cheese for flavour and use a controlled portion. Cheese is a good source of protein and calcium whether you use standard or reduced fat. Cottage cheese is a useful add in for those that like it.
  • Change high sugar cereals to low sugar plain cereals. You could add in some fruit and a handful of nuts for flavour and nutrition. This is less about the calories and more about having a nutrient rich meal that keeps you full.
  • Change full fat milk to semi or skimmed – The UK advice is to include full fat dairy for children up to 2 years of age as they need the energy and nutrients contained in the fat components. For adults semi skimmed is a good swap if you are a high consumer of milk, but if you just add it to your teas/coffees or in cereal once a day it’s unlikely that this one swap is needed.

More Swaps

  • Swap a medium banana for a medium orange to save 40 calories.
  • Swap a regular fast food hamburger for a child’s hamburger and save 230 calories.
  • Swap butter or oil for cooking spray when cooking veggies to save 70 calories.
  • Swap an eight ounce serving of fruit flavoured yoghurt for one half cup of fat free yoghurt with one half cup of sliced strawberries to save 80 calories.
  • Swap a chicken breast with skin for a roasted skinless chicken breast to save 50 calories.
  • Swap a sesame bagel for two slices of whole-grain bread to save 140 calories.
  • Swap regular white bread for reduced calorie or whole wheat bread to save 50 calories.
  • Swap one tablespoon of butter for one tablespoon of parmesan cheese to save 80 calories.